The calling to advocate for quality development can be transformative for communities and individuals.

Members of a community can, and should, be deeply involved in the quality and design of their shared spaces. Design review can be an inspiring process when conducted in a professional and equitable manner. And appreciation of quality can even become personally transformational.


Through my broad experience I am able to advise local government staff, officials, and civic leaders regarding the most effective organization for urban design and architectural review, and how to support economic development. I am known as an advocate for quality urban design based on many presentations, writing, and public testimony on land use and community appearance issues, including as author of “Community Appearance Regulation: Design Review Practices in Metropolitan Chicago.” This covers economic considerations, innovative processes and current issues through case studies and research. Click the button on the right to download a .pdf introduction to this piece.


As the founder of Scenic Illinois and the current state liaison for the national Scenic America organization, I monitor best practices for improving community appearance and architectural design review. I’ve written numerous related articles for the American Planning Association and other publications that could be of use for anyone interested in urban design issues. Click the button on the left to visit the Scenic America page.